I'm delving more into my list: exploring it, talking about each item, what it means to me and why it's such a positive force in my life. I'm doing this in a series called "The 21." Posts in this series will be available for easy access in The 21. I invite you to think about the things that are most important to you in your life and why.
College life is unique in that it is constantly shifting. Nothing stays the same for more then four months and change is something every college student accepts. It was the end of summer and I had just said goodbye to two of my best guy friends a few months prior - one transferred to another university and the other left to serve a church mission. They were my big brothers and I loved them dearly. I ended up befriending a couple other guys and together we went surfing and hiking all summer, but before long they left too. It was August 2004, and my best friends were gone. I traded a very social job as a tour guide for a fairly isolated one in the library. Aside from having just moved into a house with some cousins, it was a lonely time.
Enter Keola. We had been attending the same small university together for a year, knew a lot of the same people, and yet surprisingly never met. All his friends were conveniently gone too.
It's clear to both of us that it was NOT love at first sight. It was more of an "Oh hey" – at first sight.
But then we found out we had a class together.
And then we started working on a huge project for one of the clubs on campus, and before you know it, we were spending every waking moment together working on stuff, but also just hanging out as each others' go-to person. Friendship blossomed quickly and easily. For a while we were like brother-sister (for all you who might be thinking "yeah right," he actually liked another girl and asked me for girl advice all the time.) He would often throw my bike into the back of his truck and drive me (1 block) home or take me grocery shopping so I wouldn't have to ride my bike and cary bags of groceries at the same time. Sometimes we'd skip class and drive 40 minutes to Pizza Hut just because.
Eventually, we wrapped up our big project and didn't have much of a reason to be together anymore…except that we really liked being together. In those in-between days where we contemplated what to do about each other, we realized that something worth holding onto had begun to grow. So we held on and let it grow. Sometimes I wonder what our professor must've been thinking watching these two kids who clearly didn't know each other in September wind up holding hands and suspiciously missing class on the same days by December.
And that is the beginning - nearly 10 years ago.
When I think about those days, I'm reminded that nothing else got in the way. I didn't own a computer, smart phones didn't exist, I had no time for TV. Life was literally class, work, club stuff and Keola…or if I were to be completely honest…more like KEOLA, class, work and club stuff. Our fun consisted of beach runs, concerts in the city, gallavanting with friends, or just being together.
Now we are a high tech couple and find lots of ways to be in the same vicinity but not really together. It's a battle every day to turn off the TV, the computer, stop looking at the iPhones (and the iPads). I know we're not the only ones.
Despite all these distractions, we are still 100% each others' "go to" person. He is the quickest route to peace, love and protection. Neither of us are perfect, but we're pretty perfect for each other.